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Nitecore HC65 headlamp review

Cree XM-L2 LED
1000 lm output
3000 cd intensity
1 x 18650 Li-Ion battery

The Nitecore HC65 headlamp was released in 2018. It uses Cree XM-L2 LED, SMO reflector and 1 x 18650 Li-Ion battery. The powerful emitter in this headlamp provides up to 1000 lm output, 3000 cd intensity, and a beam distance of 110 m.

Excited to learn if the HC65 lives up to expectations? Read on!

Table of Contents

  • Nitecore HC65 specifications
    • Body, materials, weight, colors
    • System, LED, lens, reflector
    • Performance, flux, intensity, throw
    • Software, user interface, modes
    • Features, battery, protections
    • Accessories, package contents
  • Conclusion, pros and cons
  • Photos
  • Comparisons

The content of this article reflects our own experiences and viewpoints. We aim to offer insights on a topic, and we hope others find it helpful and motivating. Additionally, we make every effort to provide accurate and comprehensive coverage. If you found an error or something lacking in the specifications for the Nitecore HC65, then tell us.

Nitecore HC65 / HC65

The HC65 headlamp is designed to provide hands-free light. It lets the user to have both hands free for other tasks while having a focused light source. This light has 5 modes of lighting. The memory function is a nice feature, the light will remember the last used mode. It has a strobe function, which is one of the most effective self defense tools available. This Nitecore USB rechargeable flashlight comes with versatile charging options.

Nitecore HC65 specifications

BrandNitecore
NameHC65
TypeHC65
Rating
Rated 4 / 5 based on 1467 user votes.
Launch2018
Formheadlamp

This is a comfortable headlamp. Whether you're engaging in outdoor activities like camping, running, or fishing, etc.

Nitecore HC65 / 1

Body, materials, weight, colors

Weight62.7 g
Length82.7 mm
Head diameter18.3 mm
Materialaluminium alloy with HAIII hard-anodized finish
Colorsblack

The HC65 is small, compact, and designed for ultra-portability. The length of a flashlight can affect how it feels in your hand and how you can grip and maneuver it. The aluminium body of the HC65 has excellent thermal conductivity. This means it can effectively dissipate heat generated by the flashlight's components. The HAIII coating resists corrosion well. It shields the aluminum from moisture, humidity, and other corrosive elements. The HC65 flashlight comes in a stylish black color.

Nitecore HC65 / 3

System, LED, lens, reflector

EmitterCree XM-L2 LED
Color temperature6500 K
ReflectorSMO
LensAR coated glass
Switchelectronic side

Cree is a US-based LED manufacturer. It is well-regarded for its high-quality products and innovation in lighting. Color temperature is a characteristic of light. It is used to quantify the color appearance of light sources. The HC65 has a smooth reflector. The right reflector focuses light well. It gives you a better hotspot, and it throws better. The AR coating reduces the loss of light due to reflections, allowing more light to pass through the lens. The flashlight has electronic switches. They have many benefits and extra features compared to mechanical switches.

Nitecore HC65 / 2

Performance, flux, intensity, throw

Flux1000 lm
Intensity3000 cd
Throw110 m
CD/LM factor3

With 1000 lm, the HC65 flashlight will offer a brighter and more powerful beam of light. The HC65 flashlight has 3000 cd. It provides a much brighter and more intense beam. The throw is the distance in meters at which the flashlight produces a light intensity of 0.25 lux. The cd/lm factor is the candela-to-lumen ratio. It shows how concentrated a light source's output is.

Software, user interface, modes

Modes5 modes
Mode memoryyes
Ramping modeno
Strobeyes
SOS/Beaconyes

A flashlight's modes are different output settings or brightness levels. They can be chosen to meet different needs and preferences. The flashlight has mode memory. It remembers the mode you were using when the light was last turned off. It stays in that mode when you turn it on again. You can use Strobe for signaling purposes. It can also be used for self-defense or to attract attention in emergency situations. The HC65's SOS mode produces a specific sequence of long and short flashes. It signals distress or emergency.

Features, battery, protections

Battery1 x 18650 Li-Ion battery
Battery indicatoryes
Charger portmicroUSB
LVPyes
Thermal regulationyes
ProtectionIPx8
AUX LEDsyes
Magneticno
Specialshigh CRI light
red light
white light

The Nitecore HC65 flashlight is powered by 1 x 18650 Li-Ion battery. The battery indicator helps users check the battery status. It also estimates how much runtime they have left before recharging the battery. The built-in charger allows for convenient and versatile charging. You can use various USB power sources to recharge the battery. The flashlight detects when the battery's voltage has dropped to a certain level. Then, it reduces or cuts off the power.

The built-in thermal control adjusts brightness output to prevent overheating. The "8" in the IPx8 rating means the highest level of protection. It is against water ingress. Extra LEDs have different colors or modes, they can help with specific tasks.

Accessories, package contents

Package contents18650 battery
headband
microUSB cable
spare o-ring

It comes with a battery. The battery must be fully charged before you first use your HC65. Replacing worn or damaged O-rings helps a lot. It keeps up the flashlight's durability and performance.

According to the ANSI/NEMA FL1 Standard, we measure the performance of the HC65 flashlight 30 seconds after switching on the light. The ANSI/NEMA FL1 2009 Standard is a set of flashlight performance guidelines.

Conclusion, pros and cons

This Nitecore flashlight, like any other, has its strengths and weaknesses. Let's take a close look at both sides to understand this flashlight better. I share my thoughts on its standout features and the parts that might need improvement. Keep in mind, these are just my opinions, and you might have a different perspective.

Pros

  • lightweight
  • aluminium body
  • AR coated lens
  • side switch
  • adequate performance
  • multiple modes
  • mode memory
  • tactical strobe
  • SOS/beacon function
  • battery indicator
  • USB charger
  • low-voltage protection
  • thermal regulation
  • waterproof
  • auxiliary LEDs
  • battery included

Cons

  • cool light
  • low intensity
  • non-magnetic

Photos

Nitecore HC65 / HC65 photo 1.
Nitecore HC65 / HC65 photo 2.
Nitecore HC65 / HC65 photo 3.
Nitecore HC65 / HC65 photo 4.
Nitecore HC65 / HC65

Nitecore HC65 comparisons

According to our statistics, the Nitecore HC65 flashlight was most often compared on our site with the following flashlights.

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Updated: May 2, 2024

David Hagon
I love bushcraft and flashlights. I find joy in mastering wilderness survival skills and exploring the realm of illuminating gadgets. Bushcraft isn't just fun, it's a learning journey. I form a strong bond with nature. It's more than a hobby, it enriches me in practical and spiritual ways.